Thursday, 24 June 2021

Questions (105, 108, 152)

Barry Cowen

Question:

105. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has had any engagement with his counterpart in the new Israeli government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33699/21]

View answer

Gino Kenny

Question:

108. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has spoken to the new Prime Minister of Israel on the occupation of Palestine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33905/21]

View answer

Bríd Smith

Question:

152. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if in view of ongoing violence against Palestinian people by the Israeli state, he will reconsider Irish Israeli relations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33806/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 105, 108 and 152 together.

Israel’s new coalition Government took office on 13 June. I have written to Israel’s new Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid and I look forward to having the chance to speak with him in due course on a range of issues. 

The EU’s High Representative has spoken to Foreign Minister Lapid. I participated in a discussion on the Middle East at the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday, 21 June. At this meeting I supported early engagement with the new Government by the EU. The relationship between Israel and the EU is important and we hope to have an opportunity to meet with Minister Lapid at a Foreign Affairs Council in the coming months.

At the FAC I also supported EU engagement in a reinvigorated role for the Middle East Quartet and for the role of the EU's Special Representative on the Middle East Peace Process, including in engaging with the new Israeli Government.

Ireland’s bilateral relationship with Israel is important and valued across a range of issues. I have made four working visits to Israel and Palestine as Minister for Foreign Affairs. I have clearly outlined Ireland’s position on the Middle East Peace Process during these visits and will continue to do so. During the escalation in violence last month, I discussed the conflict with the Israeli Ambassador; in particular on the issue of compliance with international humanitarian law. These messages are important, as is our channel of communication with the Israeli Government.

Ireland remains firmly committed to a negotiated Two-State solution based on international law, relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and agreed parameters.